Letter asks House chairmen to remove proposed skilled nursing cuts from healthcare reform bill

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Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
A draft of House healthcare reform legislation is set to slice $44.9 billion in nursing home funding over the next decade, according to a group of senior care advocates. The coalition sent a letter to powerful House leaders urging them to reconsider such cuts.  

"We are concerned that the current discussion draft limits nursing homes' role in health care reform only to that of a 'pay for,' and that the impact of such drastic reductions will be felt all the way to the frontline of care for our nation's most vulnerable elderly," according to Lisa Cantrell, spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Senior Care, which Wednesday sent a letter of concern to Reps. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Henry Waxman (D-CA) and George Miller (D-CA).

Compounding the effect is $16 billion in proposed Medicare cuts from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the letter said. More than 100 members of Congress signed a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in late June asking her to rescind the proposed $16 billion in Medicare cuts. Among the signers are 18 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Waxman, and nine members of the Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rangel.

The Coalition includes several long-term care groups, including the American Health Care Association and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care. See the coalition's letter to Reps. Rangel, Waxman and Miller at www.coalitiontoprotectseniorcare.org.
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